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Cocktails for Colorful Foliage


Alchemist
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I'm talking about 5 or so cinnamon sticks, a 8-10 star anise, a tablespoon each of cloves and peppercorns and a teaspoon or so of red chile flakes to one quart of 1:1 sugar:water simple syrup. Boil the spices in the syrup for five minutes and allow to cool overnight.  Strain.  Syrup should be "dessert spicy" with a subtle heat.

QUESTION: do you make the simple syrup first, and then boil the spices in the already made simple syrup, or do you make it all at the same time (water, sugar, spices all together at the same time)? Hope that makes sense.

Thanks so much for posting the recipe!!

Bring the syrup to a boil, dump in spices and boil for another 5 minutes then turn off and cool.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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PS.  We're big Almodovar fans here.  Can never make Gazpacho without thinking of "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown".

All of the specialty cocktails on Amada's drink list are named after Pedro Almodovar movies. The "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" is a pineapple infused cacahca Mango colada. I'm entering it in the RumFest cocktail competition in New York November 14.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Have done some experimentation and figured out what needed adding in my punch recipe-

1. I've spiked the honey syrup with a splash of homemade nocino for a slightly tannic and nutty accent.

2. The drink benefits from a pinch of chinese 5-spice powder sprinkled over top of them just before serving. I'm wondering if just providing the aroma in a Alinea-esque aromatic tea beside the punchbowl will do the same thing.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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A report on the success of the punch-

Pear cider was remarkably difficult to procure, those dispatched to bring it reported no luck in NYC. I recalled several versions being in circulation up there a year ago... but nobody could lay a hand on one of them. Consequently Breton apple cider was substituted.

Batch 1 worked very well... autumnal and appley and strong and delicious. Needed a splash of selzer since the bottle of cider didn't pack much fizz.

Batch 2 was decidedly suboptimal... the second bottle of cider had apparently been victimized by a wild yeast fermentation and had the strong aroma of Band-Aids that unchecked Brettanomyces fermentation produces. (If only I'd noticed that before dumping it into the punch bowl... :angry: ) Band-Aid flavored punch didn't go over so well, so I tried to hide it under a dose of orange oil and a good teaspoon of 5-spice powder. Which made it sort of palateable, but not delicious by any means.

Lesson from the story- check your cider before mixing with it.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is an absolute beauty by one of my bartenders, Chad Solomon. I'm putting it on the menu shortly:

Velvet Harvest

2 oz Clear Creek Poire William

1/2 oz Velvet Falernum

1/2 oz Berentzens or Schonaer Apple Schnapps

1/2 oz Lemon Juice

1/4 oz Maple Syrup

2 dashes Robert Hess's House bitters (sub Angostura bitters)

1 egg white.

Shake / Strain / up

Top with 3 drops of Clove Tincture.

Garnish with Pear slice or star anise

Someone suggested it would go well with wild boar, or a game course.

It truly is fall in a glass.

Enjoy!

Audrey

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That does sound wonderful! The fall fruits plus the spices sound like wonderful stuff indeed. Pie in a glass.

Raises two questions, however:

1) A link to the recipe for Drinkboy's homemade bitters?

2) What do you mean by clove tincture? How numbing should the stuff be? How many cloves to how much vodka aged for how long? Or how many drops of clove oil to how much vodka?

Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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2) What do you mean by clove tincture?  How numbing should the stuff be?  How many cloves to how much vodka aged for how long?  Or how many drops of clove oil to how much vodka?

One of the cool things they have going at Pegu is a whole array of single-flavor tinctures behind the bar: clove, cinnamon, grains of paradise, pepper. . . you name it. I've been meaning to make a tincture of Sichuan peppercorns to see how that might work. Could be interesting. . . could suck.

"Tincture" in this context means, more or less, "the volatile parts of a substance, separated by a solvent (alcohol, in this case)." Audrey can probably supply any specifics, but my understanding is that it's something like: one ounce of whole spice toasted, ground up and mixed with vodka for X hours, then filtered.

--

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Here is an absolute beauty by one of my bartenders, Chad Solomon.  I'm putting it on the menu shortly:

Velvet Harvest

2 oz Clear Creek Poire William

1/2 oz Velvet Falernum

1/2 oz Berentzens or Schonaer Apple Schnapps

1/2 oz Lemon Juice

1/4 oz Maple Syrup

2 dashes Robert Hess's House bitters (sub Angostura bitters)

1 egg white.

Shake / Strain / up

Top with 3 drops of Clove Tincture.

Garnish with Pear slice or star anise

Someone suggested it would go well with wild boar, or a game course.

It truly is fall in a glass.

Enjoy!

Audrey

This sounds a little like the Williams Fizz that Chad made for me when I was in. That was also delicious! :wub:

Audrey, I'd be very curious about how you make the tinctures. I suspect it's similar to the beginning process of making my limoncello recipe, but undoubtedly not infused for as long. The volatile oils in spices would undoubtedly infuse faster than the oils in the lemon peels.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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On my most recent trip to the liquor store I ran across a very autumnal product that is just crying out to be mixed into drinks to add a fall flair... It is an Austrian eau de vie product called Obstler, a mix of unaged apple and pear brandies.

It has very distinct apple and pear flavors when consumed alone, and adds a great background flavor in my mix experiments.

At present the best of the experiments is a mix of equal parts gin, red vermouth and the obstler. If you run across it this fall, grab a bottle and report back with your own findings.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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On my most recent trip to the liquor store I ran across a very autumnal product that is just crying out to be mixed into drinks to add a fall flair... It is an Austrian eau de vie product called Obstler, a mix of unaged apple and pear brandies. 

It has very distinct apple and pear flavors when consumed alone, and adds a great background flavor in my mix experiments. 

At present the best of the experiments is a mix of equal parts gin, red vermouth and the obstler.  If you run across it this fall, grab a bottle and report back with your own findings.

Chris:

What you have there is the most common flavor of Austrian Schnapps. Obstler is the flavor, not the brand, and it means apple/pear. It is drunk in small chilled thimblefulls after a large dinner of Wienerschnitzel and Brotknödel as a form of human Drano. It makes for a powerful digestif after some heavy Bavarian cuisine.

I have some of that and several other fine examples of fine Austrian schnapps in my collection:

tn_gallery_7409_476_1103258466.jpg

The Obstler is definitely the one flavor you'll find in every corner tavern all over Austria. In fact if you don't specify what flavor you want it will probably be brought to you by default.

I had never considered mixing this into cocktails, perhaps because I always think of it as the after dinner rocket fuel, but I suppose one could make a tasty variation on a Williams Fizz or something with it. I'll have to think about that for a bit and see what creative ideas might ensue.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Hmm... my very rusty german associated Obstler with something like "fruity"... so it is a type rather than a brand... hmmm. The distiller of mine appears to be Stroh... and this stuff is not rocket fuel, and downright smooth when it is cold.

Let me know what sort of mixological inspiration the stuff gives you.

Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Chris:

I was inspired to have a wee schnapps after dinner last night. It had been a really long time since I'd touched the stuff. Thanks for reminding me I had it around.

I had a marillenbrand, or apricot. Chilled it up and put into one of the many little schnapps glasses I own. It was very pleasant and warming.

Stroh also makes a sugar beet derived rum called Stroh 80. It's 160 proof!!! YIKES! A small amount is very tasty in mulled cider but don't light any matches around the stuff. I actually keep a bottle around to put a wee dram in my tea when I have a bad cold. Knocks me out and I sweat it all out and wake up cured! It's brilliant stuff.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I'm still playing with my Obstler and it still tastes like Fall. Last night I added maybe a half ounce to a Manhattan in place of the bitters and it changed the character of the drink in an apple pie sort of direction. Very nice.

I think that the fall fruit eaux de vie are a great method of adding an autumnal edge to a drink. The applejack punch experiment was just the tip of the iceberg. And back then, I'd not known that the ordinary Laird's was apple brandy diluted with vodka...

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still working on the cranberry liqueur cocktail.

I think I am pretty close. The initial sparkling cocktail idea has been chucked. Cranberry liqueur just not as tasty as the homemade limoncello or strawberry liqueurs in a sparkling cocktail.

I decided, I had created more of a cranberry infused vodka, not a liqueur, so I thought I would try it playing the role of the hard stuff in a cocktail.

I tried berentzen's apple schnapps, lime, orange bitters, and cranberry liqueur. Ended up with a very alcoholic "CranApple cocktail". While pretty tasty, it was very sweet and reminded me a bit too much of the holiday cranberry punch my mom used to make over the when I was little. Definitely something to keep away from the kids.

Added a little more sugar syrup to my liqueur to make it more liqueur-ey.

Current formulation is similar to a pink apple jack sidecar or cranberry jack rose, depending on how you look at it. 1.5 oz. Apple Jack, 3/4 oz. cranberry liqueur, 1/2 oz. lemon, and a dash of Peychaud's bitters. It now tastes like something adults could enjoy.

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Still working on the cranberry liqueur cocktail.

I think I am pretty close.  The initial sparkling cocktail idea has been chucked.  Cranberry liqueur just not as tasty as the homemade limoncello or strawberry liqueurs in a sparkling cocktail.

I decided, I had created more of a cranberry infused vodka, not a liqueur, so I thought I would try it playing the role of the hard stuff in a cocktail.

I tried berentzen's apple schnapps, lime, orange bitters, and cranberry liqueur.  Ended up with a very alcoholic "CranApple cocktail".  While pretty tasty, it was very sweet and reminded me a bit too much of the holiday cranberry punch my mom used to make over the when I was little.  Definitely something to keep away from the kids.

Added a little more sugar syrup to my liqueur to make it more liqueur-ey.

Current formulation is similar to a pink apple jack sidecar or cranberry jack rose, depending on how you look at it.  1.5 oz. Apple Jack, 3/4 oz. cranberry liqueur, 1/2 oz. lemon, and a dash of Peychaud's bitters.  It now tastes like something adults could enjoy.

Erik:

Did you make your cranberry liqueur in a fashion similar to limoncello? I made a great bottle of home made cranberry vodka last winter by taking about 2/3 cup of fresh cranberries and bruising them then stuffing them into a vodka bottle for about two weeks. It was quite tart though and needed to be mixed with a sweeter juice mixer (it was tasty in pineapple juice - kind of a self contained Bay Breeze) for consumption. I like the idea of a cranberry liqueur for cocktails.

Last Thanksgiving I also tried to make a Cranberry reduction for a variation on a Cranberry Champagne cocktail. I boiled up fresh cranberries, water, sugar and Angostura bitters. I pushed it through a strainer. It had so much pectin and sugar it gelled solid and was too heavy textured (read: gloppy) for the application I wanted it for. It tasted great. It just wasn't functional. If anyone has an idea how to make that work I'd be grateful.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Did you make your cranberry liqueur in a fashion similar to limoncello?  I made a great bottle of home made cranberry vodka last winter by taking about 2/3 cup of fresh cranberries and bruising them then stuffing them into a vodka bottle for about two weeks.

More or less. The recipe called for 16 oz of roughly pureed cranberries, 1 1/2 cups of vodka, lime zest, and a cinnamon stick. I added 1/2 cup of sugar and no water and stored it for a month in a cool dark place, shaking it every day or so, until the sugar dissolved. When I strained it, I found I had around a liter of very alcoholic cranberry stuff, so perhaps I did not entirely follow the recipe. A problem I have. I think it seemed thick, so I added more vodka. I can't believe there is that much juice in cranberries. Unfortunately, I didn't write down my procedure that day. In any case, I have now added another cup of sugar (in 1/2 cup water), and it seems quite nice.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Did you make your cranberry liqueur in a fashion similar to limoncello?  I made a great bottle of home made cranberry vodka last winter by taking about 2/3 cup of fresh cranberries and bruising them then stuffing them into a vodka bottle for about two weeks.

More or less. The recipe called for 16 oz of roughly pureed cranberries, 1 1/2 cups of vodka, lime zest, and a cinnamon stick. I added 1/2 cup of sugar and no water and stored it for a month in a cool dark place, shaking it every day or so, until the sugar dissolved. When I strained it, I found I had around a liter of very alcoholic cranberry stuff, so perhaps I did not entirely follow the recipe. A problem I have. I think it seemed thick, so I added more vodka. I can't believe there is that much juice in cranberries. Unfortunately, I didn't write down my procedure that day. In any case, I have now added another cup of sugar (in 1/2 cup water), and it seems quite nice.

:hmmm: Interesting. When you're adding your sugar and water are you boiling it and making actual syrup first, or are you just dissolving the sugar in the water and adding it. The boiling definitely gives the sugar/water mixture the viscosity of a syrup and not just the sweetness. Didn't everybody do that experiment in Chemistry class where you see how heat, stirring/shaking the water, etc. effected how fast the sugar dissolved and how much sugar the solution could hold?

I'm going to have to try this again and maybe see if chopping the berries first leads to a better result than I got. Makes sense with more surface area exposed you'd get a better infusion. Perhaps I'll try this as a variation on my limoncello procedure and see if that works. I also have a liqueur cookbook. I'll look in there and see if they have any good ideas. I seem to recall there being a cranberry liqueur recipe in there. I'll check and let you know if their procedure/recipe seems any better.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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:hmmm: Interesting.  When you're adding your sugar and water are you boiling it and making actual syrup first, or are you just dissolving the sugar in the water and adding it.  The boiling definitely gives the sugar/water mixture the viscosity of a syrup and not just the sweetness.

First 1/2 cup was dissolved in the cranberry vodka mixture. Second sweetening was done with a rich simple syrup made with 1 cup washed raw sugar and a half cup water (and a cinnamon stick and clove).

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Try using dried cranberries. I know it's always fun to use ingredients that the seasons give us fresh, but from experience, I can tell you that cranberries, in particular, work best dried for infusions. I use a cranberry infused sake for a holiday drink. After experimenting with a few different methods, I can say that for me, dried cranberries not only produce the cleanest sweet/tart flavor, but they also simplify the process. Simply place dried cranberries and liquid in an air-tight container for about 2-3 days. You know they're done when they've plumped up and most of their color has seeped into the sake (or vodka). Then just strain them out.

edited for spelling and clarity

Edited by spiritchild (log)

"Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." Proverbs 31: 6-7

Julia

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Try using dried cranberries.  I know it's always fun to use ingredients that the seasons give us fresh, but from experience, I can tell you that cranberries, in particular, work best dried for infusions.  I use a cranberry infused sake for a holiday drink.  After experimenting with a few different methods, I can say that for me, dried cranberries not only produce the cleanest sweet/tart flavor, but they also simplify the process.  Simply place dried cranberries and liquid in an air-tight container for about 2-3 days.  You know they're done when they've plumped up and most of their color has seeped into the sake (or vodka).  Then just strain them out.

edited for spelling and clarity

Spiritchild:

Thanks for the excellent suggestion! My mind now reels with possibilities for infusions from dried fruits like apricot, pineapple, papaya, etc. This could revive the infused vodka thread single-handedly.

The cranberry infused sake sounds wonderful! :wub: How do you serve it?

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I spun this drink from the French 75 strangely! So the original recipe for a French 75 is gin (or brandy depending on who you ask), lemon juice, sugar (simple syrup), and champagne. I wanted to do an Asian themed drink that somehow payed homage to the French 75 and was also suited for the holidays. I decided on this recipe:

2oz cranberry infused sake (instead of the gin)

2oz homemade spiced simple syrup - I spice mine with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise to make it taste like the holidays - (instead of regular simple syrup)

1oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

Mix ingredients over ice, pour into a flute and fill with Prosecco. I garnish with a star anise. It sounds a little busy but it's actually quite nice.

In terms of infusing other liquors with dried fruit, I infuse bourbon with dried cherries. I use that bourbon with a nice amount of Punt e Mes, a good few dashes of Angostura, and a dash of almond syrup to make an interesting Manhattan. I love the flavors cherry and almond together. I garnish that one with a few blanched almond slices and brandied cherries.

"Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." Proverbs 31: 6-7

Julia

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I'm in charge of drinks for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, so I've been running through the cocktaildb Applejack cocktails. Unfortunately, my local liquor store was out of Applejack, so I've been using Calvados, so your mileage may vary.

Apple Blossom

http://www.cocktaildb.com/recipe_detail?id=2634

subbed dry hard cider for the apple juice. needed a smidge more maple. ok, but not overly disinguished.

Apple & Ginger Cocktail

http://www.cocktaildb.com/recipe_detail?id=72

admittedly, my ginger brandy (Jacquin's) is underhwelming, but this wasn't very interesting

Full House Cocktail #2:

http://www.cocktaildb.com/recipe_detail?id=863

at equal proportions the Chartreuse and Benedictine utterly overwhelm the calvados. adjusted to 1.5 to .75 and .75, still too much herb, not enough apple.

Unfortunately my tastebuds are now shot, so no more experimenting tonight ...

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Apple & Ginger Cocktail

http://www.cocktaildb.com/recipe_detail?id=72

admittedly, my ginger brandy (Jacquin's) is underhwelming, but this wasn't very interesting

Hmm... I have some homemade ginger liqueur and some store-bought; the former has more bite, I think, but I should probably try this one. Probably get rid of the sugar (both liqueurs are rather sweet) and fiddle with the proportions, but maybe with a different source of the ginger flavor it'll be better.

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